Covid-19 – Club closed and all chess leagues suspended

Ilford chess club closed for the time being after it’s meeting for juniors and adults on 16th March. The London, Essex and North Circular Leagues are also all suspended for the time being.

In case we can’t play over the board for a long time I’m looking at online chess as an option .

Tom Barton

London League – another defeat against Streatham & Brixton

BoardStreatham & Brixton 2Ilford
Wednesday04/03/2020difference (Δ)
oneLiam M Hylands s184A (W)1-0Paolo Casaschi es170 (B)14
twoMartin G Smith s170B1-0Dee Fault
threeJagdip Patel s168C1-0Gary Thurston s152C16
fourKostyantyn Titorenko s167B1/2-1/2Anthony R Kent s158A9
fiveAndrew Ponting s164D1-0Andrew Medworth s146A18
sixAntony C Hall s163A1-0Jason W Klimach s145C18
sevenJames Fox s151A0-1Venkatesh Subramanian es1501
eightDavid A Varley s147A1-0Aidan T Corish s146A1
nineJohn McKenna s131A0-1Gideon Vecht s142B-11
tenStuart McCormack s97C0-1Jeffrey Page s128B-31
Mean gradingHome team: 154.2Away team: 148.6Δ = 5.6
NotesIlford Board 2 did not show up.

We have known better evenings. The board order reflected the January 2020 ECF gradings for the first time to alter the board order a little. We only managed to pick up up half a point on the top 6 boards where we were outgraded (An Italian 4 knights draw on board 4 got the half). On board 3, Gary Thurston got tied down to his back rank in a locked position with a bishop stuck on a8. Andrew Medworth could not recover from a pawn down. Jason Klimach bravely castled queen-side against a modern defence and got heavily attacked on the queen-side.


We were relatively stronger on the bottom 4 boards. Board 7 saw a fine combination win for Venkatesh Subramanian.  Jef Page put strong pressure on his opponent’s back 2 ranks, and a slip up gave him a back rank mate. Aidan was material down in a queen and pawn ending and lost. Gideon Vecht was last to finish with some advantage in a king and minor pieces ending. Eventually, he was left with just an unstoppable solitary pawn to win.

       

Under pressure on board 3. Draw agreed on board 4.
Boards 5 to 9

North Circular League Division A – Double wins against Wanstead II

We have not had much joy in this league, so 2 wins is very welcome. There is no relegation this year as Barnet have withdrawn, but we don’t want to win the wooden spoon.

Tuesday 11th February. Wanstead House
WANSTEAD II 2-4 ILFORD
169 PAUL BANCROFT0-1NEVILLE H TWITCHELL w
167 IAN HUNNABLE1/2SID M KALINSKY b
165 P STANILAND0-1VENKATESH SUBRAMANIAN
152 PAUL BARCLAY1/2JASON KLIMACH
141 BEN HARTE1-0JEF PAGE
120 I Singh0-1TAHA UNDRE
Redbridge Social Centre, Monday 24th February
ILFORD 3½ – 2½ WANSTEAD II
NEVILLE TWITCHELL1-0167 IAN HUNNABLE w
HASSAN MUGALU1-01-0 A CHIREA FLORICA b 171
ANTHONY KENT1-0CARLTON SIDDO 143
VENKATESH SUBRAMANIAN0-1KEITH JONES 142
SID KALINSKY0-1BEN HARTE 141
JEF PAGE1/2PAUL NICKALS 132

Away match:

The match started well for us when Taha caught Singh with a knight check that forked a Rook. But other Ilford players were under considerably more pressure. Kalinsky held off Hunnable’s strong Q&B attack and Phillip Staniland sent his pieces swarming into the attack against Venkatesh’s King but came unstuck. Jef got the advantage over Harte in the opening & middle game but trying to press for a win, blundered in a time scramble rather than asking for a draw earlier in the game. On top board, Neville played a very open attacking game. He sent his a-pawn into the attack up to the 6th rank and with Bancroft’s B pinned in front of his King on the open g-file by Neville’s Queen, Bancroft’s defences on both sides of the board was impossible.

Home match:

Doing the ‘double’ over any club or team is always pleasing so after beating Wanstead II at Wanstead 4-2, we managed to repeat the trick at home & beat them again, this time by a narrower margin. They arrived at Ilford with a stronger team all the way down but it was on the top boards that we won and held the match.

Hassan quickly got the better of Chirea-Florica and won a R to give Mugalu 2 B’s against a lone Knight which was hopelessly overworked. Neville beat off Hunnable’s good opening and his counter attack paid dividends. Anthony Kent took took control of the centre to slowly but surely ground down SIddo’s game.  But, on the lower boards it all changed where Venkatesh lost to Keith Jones (again) and Sid, although playing well, his 2 B’s against 2 N’s seemingly had a draw in hand at least, until he blundered at the end. So it came down to Jef’s game where his development was good held Nickal’s King in the centre. But as black unravelled his pieces, it then came down to an endgame where with only had seconds left, Jef did enough so that his extra pawn advantage was squandered in the time scramble and they ended the game with just 2 Kings on the board.

This result takes us off the division’s bottom, one place above Wanstead II and both clubs have 1 match each to play. We finish against Chingford (23/3/2020) whilst they will face Barking. The race for the wooden spoon is still open.

The action on board 4
Boards 5 and 6

London League – defeat against British Bangla CC

Division 2
19 February 2020
BoardIlfordGradingBritish Bangla CCdifference (Δ)
onePaolo Casaschi es170 (W)1/2-1/2FM Jovica Radovanovic s223B-53
twoAnthony R Kent s158A0-1Nasir Rizvi s185A-27
threeGary Thurston s152C0-1Swadesh Malik s184E-32
fourVenkatesh Subramanian es1500-1Christopher Dunne s176D-26
fiveAidan T Corish s146A0-1Andrew McGettigan s164D-18
sixJason W Klimach s145C0-1Tariq Khan s153D-8
sevenGideon Vecht s142B 1-0Oliver Finnegan s160A-18
eightMalcolm Gesthuysen s139B1/2-1/2M Mohammed Hossain s149D-10
nineJeffrey Page s128B0-1Mohammed Alahi s150F-22
tenTaha Undre es1000-1Mostaque Choudhury s143D-43
Mean gradingHome team: 143Away team: 168.7Δ = -25.7
2 — 8

Not our best night against the likely Division 2 champions. Gideon Vecht gained our only win. Good draw on top board for Paolo Casaschi who lost the exchange but managed to gain a passed pawn to tie down his opponent. Also a draw for Malcolm Gesthuysen. Jef Page won material and had perpetual check for the taking which he did not take trying to win for the team.

Jeff Page had perpetual check with Queen to Qc5 and back to g1.

The battle on boards 4 and 5

London League – Another Win against Kings Head

Date: 29-01-2020, Division 2 at Citadines Hotel. Ilford White on odd boards

BoardHome PlayerResultHome PlayerDifference
onePaolo Casaschi es1700-1Andrew Gilfillan s187A-17
twoAnthony R Kent s158A0-1Simon Randall s180C-22
threeGary Thurston s152C1/2-1/2Conor O’Shaughnessy s175D-23
fourVenkatesh Subramanian es1501-0Alex Bourke s155B-5
fiveGideon Vecht s142B1/2-1/2Peter Grant-Ross s138A4
sixJason W Klimach s145C1/2-1/2WK (Bill) Osborne s135C10
sevenJeffrey Page s128B1/2-1/2Richard A Balatoni s122A6
eightTaha Undre es1001/2-1/2Faye Ainscow s113A-13
nineWalk Over1-0For Feit
tenWalk Over1-0For Feit
Mean gradingHome team: 143.1Away team: 150.6Δ = 7.5

Although we were 2 up to start with, Kings Head were stronger than us on top 3 boards and teams broadly level below that. Paolo’s Queens gambit accepted gave him some initiative but he lost material. Anthony’s hedgehog was going well but he missed a tactic for his opponent.

Gary Thurston, Jason Klimach and Jef Page agreed draws in even fairly positions and things looked in the balance. Gideon Vecht had a Knight for 2 pawns in a rook ending but had to settle for a draw as his opponents pawn reached the 7th rank. Venkatesh won material and saw through our only win on the night in a tense open board. Now 5-4 to us. Taha Undre and Faye Ainscow had 7 pawns each in a fairly locked position. Taha lost his a pawn but got active play with his knight as both players started running out of time. An honorable draw was agreed to give us the match. We now have 2 wins from our last 2 matches, after suffering 4 defeats since the season started.

Our next match is against British Bangla Chess Association on Wednesday 19 February.

Miracle on Middlesex Street (or nearby)

London League Division 2 . Metropolitan v Ilford. Ilford White on odd boards.

Thursday 23 January 6.30pm start

Home player Result Away player Grading difference (Δ)

Tanguy Deflesselle s202C 0-1   Paolo Casaschi es170 +32
D Ian Calvert s179A      1-0   Anthony R Kent s158A +21
Trevor Coote s182A       1-0   Venkatesh Subramanian es150 +32
Fraser A Lees s174A    1/2-1/2 Aidan T Corish s146A +28
Jeremy Law s169A         0-1   Gideon Vecht s142B +27
Jan Lepetun s167B        0-1   Malcolm Gesthuysen s139B +28
Petr Vachtfeidl s164A    0-1   Jeffrey Page s128B +36
Toby Rolls s141C         0-1   Taha Undre es100  +41
Walk Over                1-0   Forfeit
Walk Over                1-0   Forfeit

Result                 4.5-5.5
Average grade   172.3              141.6              Δ = 30.7  


Something strange happended in this match. A 6.30pm start on a Thursday in January was proving difficult to raise a full 10 person team. We turned up with only 8 players, and were missing 3 of our regular high boards due to holiday and clashing fixtures. Outgraded on every board by an average of over 30 on the ECF scale. But,there was a minor miracle on Middlesex Street and we won the match! Our first points of the season after 4 defeats.
We got off to a good start as Boards 5 and 8 (Gideon Vecht and Taha Undre) won to bring us on level terms. Then Malcolm Gesthuysen won after his opponent misjudged a combination, and Malcolm's advanced 8th rank Queen and Rook set up an unstoppable checkmate. Jef Page was under a bit of pressure on the board and the clock, but played some bold moves to grab the initiative and checkmate his opponent. Paolo Casaschi was last to win on top board in a tense opposite colour bishop and rook ending. Paolo's King walked up the board and helped shepherd his extra pawn to victory. Aidan Corish was a pawn up with opposite colored Bishops so a draw was agreed. Venkatesh won a piece for a pawn and looked more likely to win than many others, but lost out in the time scramble as black's extra pawn advanced. Hopefully we can build on this victory and get some more points on the board.
Malcolm on board 6 as Black, about to deliver checkmate
Our boards 3 and 4 deep in thought

Essex League: Honours shared with Loughton

Essex Chess League 2019/2020 Division 2
Date: Monday 20 January 2020 Venue: Redbridge Social Centre
Board Ilford 4-4 Loughton I

1 166P Twitchell, Neville H 0-1 Bowmer, Kevin 188P
2 158P Kent, Anthony R ½-½ Stirling, William J 182P
3 141P Kalinsky, Syd M ½-½ Faulkner, David J 155P
4 135~ Subramanian, Venkatesh 1-0 Van Tol, Martin 147P
5 145P Klimach, Jason W ½-½ Moth, Simon C 142P
6 128P Page, Jeffrey 0-1 Groce, Ken 135P
7 125P Ainkaran, Lavanan 1-0 Kershaw, Graham J 130P
8 100~ Undre, Taha ½-½ Stiffell, Lyn 129P

Given Loughton walloped us 7-1 at there place last October, a 4-4 draw was a better far return on our effort. Kershaw sacrificed a N for the attack but Lavanan’s careful defence won him the endgame, and Venkatesh nicely got the better of Van Tol. Stirling had a good position against Anthony Kent but lost his way to give the opportunity to stay level. Taha could make no headway against Stiffell and also took a half.  Bowmer put Neville under attack sending a pawn up to the 7th rank and although it was the last game to finish Kevin won the endgame. Jef was put under pressure on the q-side and lost a N in a time scramble.

The shared points pleasingly takes us, at least temporarily, off the bottom of the league table, but we need at least to win more matches to stay up in division Thanks to everyone who played (from Jef’s notes).

Neville’s losing battle on board 1
Draw on Board 3

Jef deep in thought on Board 6

New Year starts with London League loss to Hackney 2

Wednesday 8 January 2020
Report by Tom Barton
London League D2

Ilford 1 3 – 7 Hackney 2

The new year has started with a match loss which was no surprise given the team were out graded on all boards. The bright spots were good wins for Gary and Andrew and the return of Paolo to the team.

1Paolo Casaschi       e1750 – 1Zoltan Kovacs181
2Tom Barton1620 – 1Piro Balloglu176
3Gary Thurston1521 – 0John Tennyson175
4Venkatesh Subramaniane1500 – 1Adam Robinson170
5Chris Rogal1480 – 1Tobias Baumann175
6Andrew Medworth1461 – 0Frances Chin179
7Aidan Corish1460 – 1Paul Conway166
8Jason W Klimach1450 – 1Jeff Leung173
9Jef Page128½ – ½Peter Burgoyne149
10Taha Undree130½ – ½Paul Rosario143

Hurrah! A win for Ilford

Essex Chess League    Division 2
Monday 2nd December 2019
ILFORD  I 4½ – 3½  UPMINSTER II
Report by Jef Page

1.         TOM BARTON   ½   STEVE KELSEY    164
2. NEVILLE TWITCHELL 1-0  LES CRANE         159
3.        ANTHONY KENT   ½   ROB IANNETTA 151
4.       VENKATESH  SUBRAMANIAN 1-0  AIDAN CORISH  146
5.         SYD KALINSKY  ½    STEVE ABBOTT 143
6.     JASON KLIMACH   ½   M RAHAMAN  136
7.         JEF PAGE   ½   NICK PELLING  134
8.         TAHA UNDRE 0-1  PETER BIGGS   121

(From Jef Page’s notes). In a galaxy far, far away Ilford used to win bucket loads of chess matches. Hurraahh! At last a match win for Ilford- our first this season and for ages. We did just enough to beat Upminster 2 who we get on well with as many of their players have played for us (or still do: Crane, Corish, Abbott, Rahaman, Pelling) in the London & Essex leagues.

Drawn games dominated the match. One of the best moves I played was to win the toss and give us White on odd boards so Tom on board 1 played well opposing Kelsey’s Sicilian Defence. But, with no clear advantage, both agreed a draw. Syd had a good attack against Upminster captain Steve Abbott who defended well and Jason also stopped Rahaman developing his pieces but both accepted draws. I attacked Nick Pelling’s Alekhine’s Defence but as it went down to a level endgame with just a minute left I also had to take a half. Taha (who came from a hospital appointment) attacked Biggs’ King with Q&N but when forced back he lost control of an open board. Anthony managed to hang on under attack and a draw was agreed as time was short.

The match was levelled when Neville neatly beat Les Crane but the result hinged on Venkatesh who having won Rook for Knight against Aidan Corish, in a tense endgame with only minutes left, Venkatesh raced both g & h pawns for home supported by his King to clinch the match win for Ilford. Our biggest danger now is defaults in future matches, more players are needed!

They key game on board 4.

Disappointing London League Loss

Dulwich 1 v Ilford 1, London League Div 2
6 – 4
27 November 2019
Report by Tom Barton

1Ryan
Randall             (w)
2051 – 0Julian
Hudson
168
2Andrew
Pridding      (b)
1981 – 0Tom
Barton
162
3Haran
Rasalingam
1771 – 0Anthony
Kent
157
4Peter
Andrews
1771 – 0Venkatesh
Subramanian
e150
5Slobodan
Svircevic
1561 – 0Aidan
Corish
146
6Gary
Peebles-Brown
152½ – ½Andrew
Medworth
146
7Marlon
Seton
142½ – ½Jason W
Klimach
145
8Norman
Watson
  800 – 1Gideon
Vecht
142
9Default 0 – 1Malcolm
Gesthuysen
139
10Default 0 – 1Jef
Page
128

We started the evening two points up after defaults from Dulwich but lost the match over the top five boards where we were out graded on average 183 to 157. I fell early in the sharp Mieses variation of the Scotch where I’d considered and discarded the correct move for a decent game. Anthony was slowly strangled for space and play, Venkatesh had his king stranded in the centre of the board but although he got through the pressure to a rook and pawn endgame he was pawns down and couldn’t hold. Aidan’s opponent had a slight edge but it looked drawish until Aidan dropped a pawn. Andrew worked hard for his draw , Jason drew and Gideon found a mating attack.

The game of the evening was by Julian on board one. He played really well and his opponent and Dulwich captain, Ryan Randall, struggled to find a way to break down Julian’s defence. An exciting endgame saw passed pawns created on both sides of the board and with the game being played on incremental time Julian found the right moves to keep up the tension until he gave up the exchange. In the final position Ryan decided to repeat a few moves and waited for time to be called at 10pm. Initial analysis on the night suggested a white win. In Ryan’s word the following day:

“As we suspected, Stockfish confirms it’s winning for white by 1 tempo. I should’ve found and played this at the time, but I was too exhausted to calculate. Tough game!”

And Julian duly resigned.

Adjournment position
Ryan Randall v Julian Hudson – white to play
White can move to capture e6, trading rook for bishop and then winning the pawn race
Ryan and Julian still playing a few moments before time was called.